Wine Advocate 95
"Alto Moncayo, the winery created in 2002 by Jorge Ordoñez, Bodegas Borsao, Australian winemaker Chris Ringland and other partners to create the most ambitious wines from Aragón, needs no introduction, as their labels Aquilón and Alto Moncayo are well known by our readers. They showed up with bottles from Aquilón from 2008 to 2012 included, so I tasted the five vintages, which was great comparison, and also an opportunity to see the pace at which the wine ages. The wine is pure Garnacha from vines planted between 1920 and 1950 on poor soils with clay, iron and red slate. The yields are low and ripeness high, resulting in wines that regularly hit the scales at a whopping 16% alcohol. The grapes are harvested in 18-kilo boxes and sorted, crushed and fermented in small 4,000-5,000 kilo vats with neutral yeasts. The wine is the aged for 24 months in new oak barrels (20% American, the rest French, all of them new in all vintages). Aquilón is really a barrel selection, so Aquilón and Alto Moncayo are basically produced in the same way. What I found was that the character of the vintage was clear in the wines and they have different personalities, but the quality level is quite homogeneous.
Alto Moncayo is not shy either, sourced from equally old Garnacha and fermented in the same way as Aquilón is aged for a slightly shorter time, around two years and the percentage of American oak is higher, reaching 40% which is both experimental (blind tasting) and because Ringland wants that character in the wine. These are clearly the most ambitious wines produced in Campo de Borja and in the whole of Aragón. Ripe, massive, concentrated, well-oaked and hedonistic Garnacha wines.
I had the chance to taste the wines with Chris Ringland, who fell in love when visiting the mountain Garnacha vines from Campo de Borja in the early years of this century and that's how the story started..."~LG
International Wine Cellar 94
"Inky ruby. Powerful, deeply pitched dark berry and floral scents are complicated by notes of smoky minerals, cola and mocha. Supple, broad and alluringly sweet, offering intense blueberry and mulberry flavors enlivened by juicy acidity. The floral quality comes back strong on the close, with velvety tannins adding shape and grip. A real knockout, and surprisingly approachable now." ~JR
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Bodegas Alto Moncayo is a winery located in the area covered by the Campo de Borja Denominación de Origen (DO, wine quality standard). It was founded in 2002 with the aim of turning it into a world reference for Garnacha wines of the highest quality, prepared from native vine clones.